Since I heard the news, I’ve been stuck in limbo about it. I’m not sure if I’m sad or not, and it’s a strange feeling. I can’t really explain it. “I’m okay.”

Viola leans over and gives me a hug. With her arms wrapped around my neck, I can feel the love pouring out of her. “I’m sorry,” she whispers.

“It’s going to be okay. So how ‘bout that coffee? They have venti mocha grande chocolate shit here?”

“It’s a venti white chocolate mocha with an extra shot, occasionally made with soy. And if we go in there spouting off that lingo, they may kick us out and ban us for life. They are pretty much anti-establishment.” She lifts both eyebrows and puckers her lips with a hard head nod.

“I’ll take your word for it.”

Before I open my door, she glances over at me. “Do you want to just get it to go?”

“Embarrassed to be out with me, princess?” I’m fucking with her, and she notices.

“I want to be alone with you while I can.”

Dammit, she’s so beautiful. I don’t even argue with her about it.

“Only if I can drive.” I shoot her a wink, and she doesn’t protest. I’m not sure if I should be driving, but since I’m not on any pain medication, I don’t see an issue with it. I know I haven’t been cleared yet, but when have I ever followed the rules?

We order our coffees, and I drive past the college, turning down a few side streets until we arrive at this little park I found my senior year. Never being one for the library, I used to come out here and study. When she sees people walking their dogs and children playing, her eyes widen. It’s a happening place.

“Talk about a diamond in the rough! This park is awesome.”

We get out of the car, and I take her hand and lead her across the grass to a picnic table under a tree. The sun is high in the sky, but dark clouds tumble in. It looks like it could start raining at any moment, but we continue toward the low-hanging branches.

I sit next to her, with our backs pressed against the tabletop, and we watch the people in the park.

“I have something to tell you,” I whisper into her neck. I love the way her skin smells like fresh spring flowers.

A soft moan escapes her. “Hmmm?”

I open my contacts list and hand her my phone. “I deleted all the hoes.”

Viola bursts out laughing and looks at me like I’ve lost my mind. Maybe I have.

“Why?” She gasps.

“Because you’re the only hoe I want.” I reach over and tickle her.

“I’m not a hoe.” She swats at me, fighting back her laughter. She tries to tickle me back but sucks at it.

“You’re my hoe.” I interlock my fingers with hers as she leans over and kisses me.

“You’re so damn romantic.”

“I try.” I smile before I take a sip of my coffee.

“Oh, I owe you an ass kicking for that picture.” She narrows her eyes at me. “Drew almost saw it, idiot!”

“Shit. I’ll allow you to spank me if you want,” I quip.

She glares at me. “He’s onto us. Like for real onto us. He asked me if I had seen a girl around the house due to the way you’re acting. So get your shit together, King!”

“What, seriously?” Now I’m confused. Drew has never cared about my sexcapades.

“Yeah, he mentioned you were acting the same way you did when you were dating some chick, the one you joked about marrying.”

My body stiffens, and I swallow hard. She notices my reluctance and turns and looks at me, waiting for me to explain.

“Viola, that was a long time ago, when we first got the house. I was never going to marry anyone. I was nineteen and horny, and she was a cheater. That’s ridiculous.” And the truth.

“Good to know the only thing that’s changed is your age.” She smirks.

I offer a shrug.

“Anyway, he’s going all Sherlock Holmes on us. He said he would find out who it was and you know how he gets. I’m hoping Mia derails him.”

Mia. Funny how she keeps popping up in conversations.

“Not good.” As soon as the words leave my mouth, a bolt of lightning strikes out. Viola jumps, nearly spilling her coffee on herself, which causes me to laugh. Without warning, rain pelts from the sky like speeding bullets and it hurts like hell. We stand, leaving our coffees behind and Viola runs across the grass with everyone else.

“I hate the fucking rain,” she yells, ignoring the children around, trying to cover her body with her jacket.

It hurts to move quickly, so instead of jogging with her, I walk, taking my time. I’m already wet, might as well be soaked. By the time I climb inside, she’s shivering even though the heater is blowing on high. Water is dripping from the tips of her hair, and when she looks over at me, it takes everything I have to hold back laughter. She really is a rain hater.

Tags: Kennedy Fox The Checkmate Duet Erotic